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Best keto-friendly snacks | CNN Underscored

(CNN) —  

Don’t know much about the keto diet? Well, for starters, it’s extremely popular and a favorite of celebs like LeBron James, the Kardashians and Halle Berry. Search #keto on Instagram and you’ll find a whopping 20 million posts. And unlike a lot of diets, it’s relatively simple. The emphasis is on trying to eliminate carbohydrates and replace sugary foods with protein, nonstarchy vegetables and healthy fats.

It comes with plenty of benefits, too. Los Angeles-based clinical nutritionist and expert in keto diets Juli Keene has worked with celebrities and professional athletes and has found keto to be a tool, rather than a diet, for enhancing top-level performance for athletes. “We are using keto, in this case, to help their bodies become more fat-adapted and metabolically flexible so that they are able to last on the field or court much longer than their competitors,” she says.

Since many of us are working from home, snacking has become a daily temptation, and while Keene isn’t a huge fan of snacking while on a keto plan, for those who can’t resist a between-meal nosh, she recommends hard-boiled eggs or baked egg muffins with chopped veggies. “I also use a scooped-out avocado with chicken salad or egg salad in the middle,” she adds.

As far as packaged keto snacks go, like the cult-favorite Magic Spoon cereal, Keene likes pairing celery and zucchini slices with guacamole, and points to BHU bars and Trader Joe’s Keto Fudge Bites. “I also like portion-controlled packages of nuts, but they do have some carbs, so be careful with them,” she says.

From cookies to cauliflower wraps to caramel sauce, here are 15 more low-carb (not all entirely carb-free, but close), keto-friendly snacks to ease cravings when you’re on the move.

HighKey Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies

At 140 calories per serving (about eight mini cookies), this highly-rated treat is low in net carbs and sugar, and both gluten- and grain-free. Noted for their texture, crunch and flavor, they draw comparisons to Chips Ahoy! by reviewers and also come in snickerdoodle, chocolate brownie and buttery coconut flavors.

Kalahari Biltong Air-Dried Sliced Beef

Kalahari Biltong Air-Dried Sliced Beef

Snack on this air-dried, keto-friendly sliced beef that contains zero carbs or sugar, is gluten- and soy-free, and packs a whopping 32 grams of protein in each bag. With six simple ingredients (beef, vinegar, salt, pepper, chili powder and coriander), they’re great on their own but also taste delicious tossed into an omelet or salad. Choose from spicy peri peri, garlic, original and lime chili flavors, all with zero carbs or sugar.

SuperFat Snickerdoodle Keto Cookie Bites

SuperFat Snickerdoodle Keto Cookie Bites

PHOTO:
Amazon

The reviews are in: These little cookies are not only keto- and paleo-friendly, but they’re also vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free and contain no refined or processed carbohydrates. Also available in peanut butter chocolate chip and chocolate chip, they’re perfect for curbing a sweet tooth, with four cookies clocking in at 150 calories.

Outer Aisle Gourmet Cauliflower Sandwich Thins

Outer Aisle Gourmet Cauliflower Sandwich Thins

Sometimes you just need a bread-like nosh, which is tricky, of course, when you’re eating keto. These fab little rounds not only taste great, but are made with just cauliflower, eggs, Parmesan cheese and nutritional yeast, are gluten-free, and only cost you 50 calories a pop.

Dip them in olive oil, toast them up and sprinkle them with cheese, top ‘em with avocado or egg. We love the Italian flavor (a No. 1 bestseller on Amazon), but the original and jalapeno are tasty, too. And for pizza fanatics, do yourself a favor and try the pizza crusts and wraps.

Lenny & Larry

Lenny & Larry’s Chocolate Chip Keto Cookie

Packed with 8 grams of plant-based protein and 5 grams of fiber, this grain- and gluten-free vegan cookie earns praise for its tastiness, texture and “just right” amount of sweetness. Also available in peanut butter and coconut.

Quest Nutrition Tortilla Style Protein Chips

Quest Nutrition Tortilla Style Protein Chips

Rich in protein and fiber, these tortilla-style chips are available in flavors like chili lime, ranch and loaded taco. Reviewers say they taste exactly like Doritos, but better.

ChocZero Syrup Variety Pack

ChocZero Syrup Variety Pack

Think you can’t have ice cream on a keto diet? Think again! Try this keto-friendly mason jar recipe and top it with ChocZero’s maple, chocolate or caramel syrup for an indulgent, yet diet-friendly treat. Sugar- and preservative-free and less than 40 calories per tablespoon? Go ahead and pour it on thick.

Hilo Life Snack Mix Variety Pack

Hilo Life Snack Mix Variety Pack

PHOTO:
Amazon

When you’re short on time or don’t have the patience for food prep, but still like to pack snacks when you’re on the go, reach for these single-serving pouches. You get two each of “Really Ranchy” (gouda cheese crisps and pecans) and “Super Cheesy” (cheddar cheese crisps and almonds) and “Piece-A-Pizza” (crispy mozzarella cheese and walnuts), with each pouch containing 4 grams or less net carbs and no added sugars or sweeteners.

BRAMI Keto Lupini Bean Dip

BRAMI Keto Lupini Bean Dip

PHOTO:
Amazon

Keep it clean and dip some carrots and veggies into this lupini bean hummus, made with extra virgin olive oil and no artificial ingredients. Plus, the containers are shelf stable so you can grab one whenever the afternoon snack attack hits you.

Perfect Keto Bars Almond Butter Brownie Snack

Perfect Keto Bars Almond Butter Brownie Snack

Tend to get hungry after a workout, on a road trip or just, well, any time at all? These 230-calorie, keto-approved protein-packed bars (10 grams each) feature 19 grams of healthy fats and are sweetened with stevia — not only satisfying your sweet tooth but filling you up, as well. (Hint: In a pinch, they make for a great on-the-go breakfast, too.)

SlimFast Keto Peanut Butter Cup Fat Bomb

SlimFast Keto Peanut Butter Cup Fat Bomb

Can’t end the day without a little dessert? We feel you. In each box, you get 14 tasty, individually wrapped peanut butter cups — aka fat bombs in the keto world — made with whey protein and collagen, with no gluten or added sugar. Oh, and at just 90 calories a pop, you might just go ahead and eat two next time that sugar craving hits.

Whisps Cheese Crisps Variety Pack

Whisps Cheese Crisps Variety Pack

Made simply with 100% artisanal cheese, these gluten-free, keto-friendly crisps are full of protein and calcium. Available in Parmesan, cheddar, Asiago and pepper jack, tomato basil, and bacon barbecue, this Amazon No. 1 bestselling variety pack lets you sample all the flavors with one purchase. Eat them as a replacement for potato chips or fries, toss them in a soup or salad or — our fave — nosh on them with a glass of keto-approved wine.

Low Karb Keto Blueberry Nut Granola

Low Karb Keto Blueberry Nut Granola

Grain-free, gluten-free, no added sugar and 16 grams of healthy fats per serving? Next time a snack attack hits, grab a handful of this yummy nut granola. Eat it plain or topped with almond milk or a little Greek yogurt to curb those cravings.

Keto Farms Crunchy Cheese Variety Pack

Keto Farms Crunchy Cheese Variety Pack

Have an issue with portion control? Same here. That’s why we’re keen on these single-serve packs filled with seasoned nuts and crunchy cheese, weighing in at 170 calories each. Keep a pack (flavors include sweet strawberry, nacho cheddar and cheese jalapeno) stashed in your purse, glove compartment or desk drawer to keep from cheating on your keto meal plan.

Epic Wagyu Beef Steak Strips

Epic Wagyu Beef Steak Strips

On the hunt for a high-protein snack that will keep you on track with your keto meals? These strips of 100% grass-fed Wagyu beef come with 6 grams of protein per serving and contain an ingredient list of beef, honey, sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Great to throw in your backpack while hiking or camping, and reviewers give them high ratings for their flavor and convenience factor.

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Casetify Disney Collection: Puts Mickey Mouse on all your Apple devices

(CNN) —  

To kick off 2021, Casetify launched a Co-Lab with Disney, releasing a whole collection around the iconic character Mickey Mouse. The brand has put a fun and updated twist on the classic Disney cartoon. You’re getting the always trendy looks from Casetify paired with your favorite character mouse, and we’d call it a win-win.

The collection covers accessories for your favorite Apple tech. You’ll find picks for your iPhone, AirPods, MacBook, Apple Watch and iPad, plus a few bonus items like chargers and Casetify’s UV sanitizer. We’ve chosen our favorites from the collection for you to shop from.

These cases range from recycled plastic materials to leather. There’s a variety of Mickey prints to choose from as well. Most cases are available for the iPhone 7 through the iPhone 12 Pro Max, though a select few are only available for the more recent models, like the iPhone 11 through iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Cartoon Mickey Case (starting at $50; casetify.com)

Cartoon Mickey Case

PHOTO:
Casetify

Showcasing a range of Mickeys, this leather case is sleek with a dash of fun. It features different Mickey depictions throughout the years. We like the leather paired with the doodles for a professional but fun look.

Mickey Mouse Name Case (starting at $45; casetify.com)

Mickey Mouse Name Case

Mickey Mouse Name Case

PHOTO:
Casetify

This is a mirror case, so the back is somewhat reflective. It displays a small cartoon Mickey and lets you customize the case by adding your initials or name. Your customization will appear in a whimsical font vertically along the case.

MMC Member’s Badge Case ($70; casetify.com)

MMC Member

MMC Member’s Badge Case

PHOTO:
Casetify

If you really want to show off your Mickey pride, this case features the classic mouse ears up top. The back of the case has a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Member’s badge and can even be customized with your name along the bottom.

Mouseketeer Sticker Case (starting at $45; casetify.com)

Mouseketeer Sticker Case

Mouseketeer Sticker Case

PHOTO:
Casetify

Taking customization to the next level, this is a clear case that comes with a Mickey sticker pack for you to add onto your case however you’d like. The stickers themselves range from Mickey glove doodles to the mouse himself.

Mickey 2-in-1 Grip Stand ($40; casetify.com)

Mickey 2-in-1 Grip Stand

Mickey 2-in-1 Grip Stand

PHOTO:
Casetify

Add a grip and kickstand to your phone with this Mickey-themed pick. You can customize the phone grip with your name or initials as well.

AirPod cases can help your earbud cases from being scratched or damaged, and we love the fun designs of these Disney options. Apple Watches are sleek accessories to begin with, and pairing them with a leather watch strap makes for a great look. These cases and bands are a more subtle way to show off your love for Mickey.

Mouseketeer AirPods Case ($35; casetify.com)

Mouseketeer AirPods Case

Mouseketeer AirPods Case

PHOTO:
Casetify

This AirPods case showcases some Mickey stickers (though these are already printed on the case). It’s a low-key way to show off your love of Disney. It’s also available at the same price for the AirPods Pro.

Mickey Sticker AirPods Pro Case ($35; casetify.com)

Mickey Sticker AirPods Pro Case

Mickey Sticker AirPods Pro Case

PHOTO:
Casetify

This clear case features four funny Mickey stickers on the front. We like that it’s whimsical but subtle. It’s also available for the AirPods.

MMC Member’s Badge Watch Band ($52; casetify.com)

MMC Member

MMC Member’s Badge Watch Band

PHOTO:
Casetify

Casetify’s Apple Watch bands are made of quality leather, and we like the sleek and subtle Mickey on this band. It features the MMC logo, and you can customize it with your name or initials. You can also pick from five different hardware colors.

Mickey Medley Watch Band ($52; casetify.com)

Mickey Medley Watch Band

Mickey Medley Watch Band

PHOTO:
Casetify

If you really want to wear your love for Mickey on your sleeve, this Watch band will help you do just that. It features a medley of Mickeys against a black leather watch strap. You can coordinate the hardware to the color of your Apple Watch as well.

Larger devices, like your iPad and MacBook, still need protection and a bit of spunk. These cases can help shield from damage while bringing a fun flair to your device. The iPad cases are portfolio style, and the MacBook cases easily snap onto your laptop.

Mickey Mania MacBook Case ($55; casetify.com)

Mickey Mania MacBook Case

Mickey Mania MacBook Case

PHOTO:
Casetify

Aptly named, this case features a lot of Mickey. It’s a clear case, so the backdrop color will be that of your MacBook. Among the stickers you’ll find a laughing Mickey, the Disney logo, glove doodles and a few others.

MMC Member’s Badge MacBook Case ($55; casetify.com)

MMC Member

MMC Member’s Badge MacBook Case

PHOTO:
Casetify

Another clear laptop case, this pick features the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse logo and badge. The logo is featured largely in the center of the case. It’s a small way to show off your membership to the always fun and welcoming clubhouse.

Mickey Mania iPad Case ($72; casetify.com)

Mickey Mania iPad Case

Mickey Mania iPad Case

PHOTO:
Casetify

Casetify’s iPad case is a portfolio-style case. This one features Mickey stickers on the cover and has a solid leather back. It doubles as a stand to prop up your iPad as well.

Mickey Medley iPad Case ($72; casetify.com)

Mickey Medley iPad Case

Mickey Medley iPad Case

PHOTO:
Casetify

This case is totally covered in overlapping Mickey cartoons. It features the more modern Mickey look, smiley and happy. It’s also a portfolio-style case.

Your wireless charger doesn’t have to be so standard. Choose from Casetify’s Mickey patterned options for a fun and whimsical look on your desk or nightstand. The charger doesn’t come with a wall plug, so you’ll have to grab your own.

Mickey Face Wireless Charging Pad ($59; casetify.com)

Mickey Face Wireless Charging Pad

Mickey Face Wireless Charging Pad

PHOTO:
Casetify

This wireless charging pad showcases Mickey’s smiling face. It’ll look cute on your nightstand or countertop and is a small way to show off your love for Disney’s iconic character.

Mickey Medley Charging Pad ($59; casetify.com)

Mickey Medley Charging Pad

Mickey Medley Charging Pad

PHOTO:
Casetify

The Mickey Medley pattern on this charging pad is a small way to feature Mickey in your charging setup.

Mouseketeer UV Sanitizer ($120; casetify.com)

Mouseketeer UV Sanitizer

Mouseketeer UV Sanitizer

PHOTO:
Casetify

Keep your tech clean but also keep showing off your fun side. This is Casetify’s UV sanitizer that features wireless charging while your phone is cleaned, and it comes with a pack of Mickey stickers so you can add some pizzazz to your sanitizer.

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Best fitness trackers 2021 | CNN Underscored

(CNN) —  

While Fitbit was one of the first companies to go beyond simple step counting — giving insight into calories burned, sleep data and more — several brands have built an impressive fitness community around their products, allowing people to connect with others who are also on a mission to lose weight, get fit or improve their endurance and speed.

That’s why, over the course of a month, we tested seven highly rated, beloved fitness trackers. We ran. We walked. We lifted. We compared ease of use, build quality and accuracy. After a more-active-than-usual couple of weeks, we found one fitness tracker that tops them all:

Fitbit Inspire 2

PHOTO:
Amazon

Since first releasing fitness trackers in 2014, Fitbit has been considered the most accessible brand for all health warriors — from novices to experts.

Though both Fitbit models we tried excelled during our testing, the Inspire 2 was slimmer and less complicated to both set up and understand than the Fitbit Charge 4. Its sleek build ensured it didn’t catch on clothing (or anything else) while working out, and the thin screen seemed less prone to bumps and scratches, so in a way it felt less shatterproof than others. Some of the other trackers, like the Fitbit Charge, were just slightly bigger, but still big enough to notice the difference. (We concede that comfort is wholly subjective, but we ultimately found the slimmer Inspire 2 less obtrusive while wearing and therefore think it would be comfortable even for those with smaller wrists. For those looking for more heft and slightly larger faces, the Fitbit Charge 4 or Garmin Vivosmart 4 might be more ideal.) Despite its slightly smaller screen, we never struggled to read our stats in the Inspire 2, even while quickly peeking during intense workouts.

Setup was a cinch and took place within the Fitbit app, which is available on Google Play, iTunes or Microsoft. Just create a free profile, sync via Bluetooth, charge your tracker and you’re ready to get started. For better accuracy, it’s essential to fill out your personal information, including your height and whether you’re wearing the tracker on your dominant or nondominant wrist. Your height often determines your gait — the length of your step — and the Inspire 2 is supposed to track differently based on which hand you’re using (though we did not notice a significant difference in tracking when we tested on different wrists).

You can also set up step goals (we aimed for 10,000, for instance) as well as weight loss, water intake, wellness, sleep and more. When you log in to your Fitbit app, your home page automatically displays a semicompleted circle of how many steps you’ve taken for the day. A quick scroll will show you active minutes (when your heart rate was raised), your average resting heart rate and additional data. You can also set and log your water goals.

 Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2

PHOTO:
Fitbit

You have the option to turn on a notification to remind you to get in at least 250 steps per hour to meet your movement aspirations for the day. This was something that, as we’re now working (and exercising and cooking and existing 24/7) at home, we found to be incredibly helpful; on several occasions, the feature (which you can also find on the Garmin and Withings trackers) gave us the prompt we needed to drag ourselves out of our seat and walk upstairs or grab the pup for a quick around-the-block jaunt.

Fitbit claims that it can automatically tell what type of fitness you’re partaking in, from swimming to biking to more than 20 other activities, but we didn’t find this claim to be entirely accurate in our testing. While the Fitbit Inspire 2 did recognize when we were doing cardio, it read strength training as king (our assumption is that’s because our heart rate would only rise here and there during those sessions); when we biked, it picked it up as swimming. This wasn’t an anomaly pegged only to Fitbit, as none of the trackers consistently identified strength training. Despite that hiccup, we did like how the Fitbit app told us exactly when we were in our most active, fat-burning mode and when we were at rest. We found this information to be helpful, mainly as it gives insight into how many additional calories to burn to meet goals.

One of the most significant — and interesting — features of the Fitbit Inspire 2 is the sleep tracker, which lets you know when you wake up throughout the night, how deep or light your rest is and how much time you spend in the REM cycle. Our tester, a self-professed problematic sleeper, found this tracker to be the most comfortable to wear throughout the night (an issue we had with other trackers, which you can read more about below). And you won’t have much worry about charging the Fitbit Inspire 2, as it can hold a charge for up to 10 days; we never needed to recharge it throughout our testing, even after a few days of heavy use.

For less than $100, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is the best choice for anyone who wants better clarity and more robust data about their health, fitness and wellness lifestyle. Each tracker also comes with a free year of the Fitbit Premium Membership, which provides data-driven personal recommendations as well as access to hundreds of workout videos from Fitbit and meditation and mindfulness lessons. We think that’s plenty of bang for your buck.

When working toward a specific health goal, a fitness tracker can prove vital, helping to self-monitor daily activities and provide motivation to stay in action. As certified fitness instructor DeBlair Tate, who provided guidance during our testing process, put it: “When your progress is tracked accurately and consistently, a pattern of results becomes clearer. It provides a sense of ownership for health and fitness goals. When you aim to reach those numbers daily, you gain that fulfillment of accomplishment that motivates you to create more goals.”

But how accurate, exactly, are fitness trackers? We did notice some discrepancies in steps — up to 500 to 800 steps — when we wore two trackers at once. This was true regardless of brand. That’s normal, though, since technology and functionality are all different. As Keegan Draper, National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and fitness specialist for Mindbody, explained, wrist straps will differ from hip-mounted trackers and chest or arm straps.

In terms of steps, he says more accurate measurements would come from a hip-mounted step counter, whereas a wristwatch could pick up on other movements and track those. “It is very likely two different trackers give different step counts,” Draper noted. “But, overall, your daily fitness tracker will be relatively accurate, and having some sort of monitor and tracker is better than none.”

Performance

  • Accuracy: Though numbers will vary, as we explored above, to test accuracy, we wore two trackers at once and compared the results. We also compared the steps to the included pedometer in our phone and tested the built-in GPS to measure distance.
  • Readability: While the numbers on all fitness trackers are fairly small, we noted how easy it was to read the screen — as well as how quickly we could glance at the screen to see our heart rate in the middle of a workout.
  • Navigation: All of the trackers allow you to scroll to find steps, activity, heart rate and so on. We rated how easy this was to explore.
  • Activity recognition: For many trackers, you can also select what type of workout you’re doing before you begin for better tracking accuracy. Some automatically recognize activities, so we tested that too.
  • App usability: We rated how straightforward the app was, what it tracks and how it presented information.
  • Ease of setup: When you’re buying a tracker to lower your heart rate and improve your health, the last thing you want is to be stressed. We looked at how easy and fast it was to follow instructions, download the app, connect to Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi and get started.
  • Battery life: We recorded how long each device lasted on a full charge.
  • Compatibility: Many fitness trackers require you to download their own app, and some allow you to sync with other apps, like Apple Health, Google Fit, MyFitness Pal, Peloton and many others. We looked at how many third-party apps each tracker could pair with.

Build

  • Overall comfort: The purpose of a fitness tracker is to wear it all day, and in some cases, all night. This means comfort is key. We rated on fit as well as how it felt during and after a workout, against sweat or in the shower.
  • Design: We noted how aesthetically pleasing and diverse the tracker was, including how many colors and designs were available.
  • Waterproofness: We took each of these trackers into the shower to ensure they held up to their waterproof rating.

Other factors

  • Warranty: We noted the warranty, if any, for each device and rated its offering.
  • Privacy: We also combed through each product’s privacy policy to see how the company manages privacy within the app and if it shares any user data.

Using the metrics and guidelines above, we rated each individually. Then we tallied up the total number in each subcategory. Lastly, we found the overall score for each, and thus named a winner. We broke down the scores as follows:

  • Performance had a maximum of 70 points: accuracy (15 points), readability (10 points), navigation (10 points), activity recognition (10 points), app usability (10 points), ease of setup (5 points), battery life (5 points) and compatibility (5 points).
  • Build had a maximum of 20 points: overall comfort (10 points), design (5 points) and waterproofness (5 points).
  • Other factors had a maximum of 10 points: warranty (less than two years = 0 points; two to five years = 2 points; more than five years = 5 points) and privacy (5 points).

Fitbit Charge 4 ($135.98, originally $149.95; amazon.com)

Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4

PHOTO:
Fitbit

In all transparency, the Fitbit Charge 4 offers every feature we liked about the Fitbit Inspire 2, but we found the design of this model to be less comfortable. The screen and the band are wider, which can feel bulky for someone with small wrists. If you’re on the fence about buying an Apple Watch, though, this is very similar in terms of alerts, connectivity to your calendar and messaging, so it could be a cheaper alternative. It is compatible with Spotify, so you can listen to music via Bluetooth headphones while exercising, but a premium membership is required.

The screen is more advanced than the Inspire 2, which we appreciated, but it’s also easier to scratch. So why did we prefer the Fitbit Inspire 2? It offers all of the same features, it’s smaller and it provides more value for its price point.

Garmin Vivosmart 4 With Pulse Ox and Heart Rate Monitor in Rose Gold With Gray Band ($119.39, originally $129.99; amazon.com)

Garmin Vivosmart 4

Garmin Vivosmart 4

PHOTO:
Garmin

In terms of look and feel, the two Garmins we tested were similar to the Fitbit Inspire 2. They have thinner bands in various colors and feature the swipeable home screen. While we preferred Fitbit to track workouts and steps, Garmin was better for walks and runs, since it’s known for its GPS accuracy and its ability to help with pacing, from within the app. It even provides trails or loops you can follow in most cities.

Garmin’s app and interface are similar to Fitbit but feel clunkier and more difficult to navigate. There are various sections, including a daily screenshot, challenges you can give yourself, calendar reminders and more, but it doesn’t offer the same community-like feel or ease of scrolling as the Fitbit app.

The Vivosmart 4 does display reminders to breathe and relax if your resting heart rate seems to be going haywire, which is a valuable feature, particularly in today’s climate. And if you want your steps to be front and center, you can make them first on your menu — or, if you want activities, you can do that too. It’s up to you and fully customizable.

This tracker also claims to have more advanced sleep monitoring, including REM cycle and blood oxygen saturation levels via its Pulse Ox sensor. Ultimately, though, we found it uncomfortable to wear while sleeping and ended up taking it off halfway through the night, so we didn’t get an accurate read.

Garmin Vivofit 4 ($90.19; amazon.com)

Garmin Vivofit 4

Garmin Vivofit 4

PHOTO:
Amazon

This smaller and less expensive tracker offers many of the same apps and offerings as the Vivosmart, but it does have one standout quality that may be enticing for some: a button. Of all the trackers we tested, it was the only one to offer a button to navigate the on-screen menu. This isn’t a necessity, but for those who prefer something tangible, it could be a decision-making feature. Like all Garmin devices, this one also connects to Google Play, iTunes and up to 15 other apps, so you can easily integrate various subscriptions into your tracker. You can also get a weather reading if you’re trying to decide whether to do an indoor or outdoor workout. Our biggest gripe with this device, however, is its home screen, which we found to be the most difficult to read unless we were in total daylight.

Withings Hybrid Smartwatch Steel HR ($179.95; amazon.com)

Withings Hybrid Smartwatch Steel HR

Withings Hybrid Smartwatch Steel HR

PHOTO:
Withings

Of the seven fitness trackers we tested, this is the only one that could be mistaken for a watch. And for many people, this is a major selling point. Its screen offers a clock, a stopwatch and all of the info traditional trackers have, like heart rate, calories burned and other data. For small wrists, though, we found this device to be too large.

With Withings, you download its Health Mate app to receive information on your heart rate as well as to track your weight, activities and sleep. Like trackers, you can also receive text or phone alerts and connect it to Amazon Alexa to give verbal cues. To collect data on fitness, you scroll to place the tracker in “workout mode” and select from running, swimming and so on. As a bonus, it also claims to track Ping-Pong, windsurfing, kitesurfing and other unique activities. When you’ve finished sweating, you’ll see info on the duration of your activity and calories you expended. And its battery life is one of the most impressive we observed — even after wearing it for several days, it never fell below 70% charge.

It’s a solid choice for those who want a bit more out of their fitness tracker and are willing to spend a bit more.

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 ($35.99; amazon.com)

Xiaomi Mi Band 4

Xiaomi Mi Band 4

PHOTO:
Amazon

Though at first glance this fitness tracker looks very similar to its more expensive competitors, the experience doesn’t compare. When we were setting up the device, our internet browser detected a security risk and said the website was unsafe. Then, when we did download the app for Xiaomi called Mi Fit, it had significantly less information than the others we tested. You can see your steps, and you can select between walking, running and cycling, but the tracking features weren’t as reliable as others. Plus, the app heavily pushes the company’s “skins,” which are personalized home screens for the tracker, rather than focusing on health and wellness.

The tracker is comfortable to wear and has a sleek look (though the band is only available in black), but you need to remove the watch face to charge the device. It’s not a big deal and doesn’t take long, but it’s an added step that other trackers don’t require. While this isn’t the least expensive device on our list, we found it to have the fewest features — not to mention that its app and website seem unstable and should be updated to build trust with consumers.

Letsfit Fitness Tracker ($20; amazon.com, currently unavailable)

Letsfit Fitness Tracker

Letsfit Fitness Tracker

PHOTO:
Amazon

This tracker was the least expensive out of our pool, but we were impressed with its design and functionally. It’s the only tracker that doesn’t require you to set up a profile to begin using the device. That means you can take it out of the box, charge it for an hour and get started. It doesn’t have super-advanced data like the others we tested, but if you merely want to track your steps and your heart rate, it’s an affordable way to have a pulse on your health (no pun intended). You can download the VeryFitPro app to see your stats, but you can do so without giving your email or any information.

Read more from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:

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Trump adds to impeachment defense team with another South Carolina lawyer

President Biden is set to unveil a collection of four executive actions aimed at racial equity today, a senior administration official told reporters on a call.

The orders are aimed at “mandating a whole of government initiatives to embed racial equity across federal policies, programs and laws, starting with a review of federal policies and institutions to dismantle systemic racism where it exists, and to advance equity where we aren’t doing enough,” according to the administration.

The four topics of today’s executive actions will be:

  • Advancing fair housing
  • Reforming the incarceration system to stop the use of private prisons
  • Reaffirming the federal government’s commitment to Tribal sovereignty and consultation
  • Combating xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Central to the initiative is a focus on data collection—the official pointed to a Jan. 20 executive order mandating the formation of a Data Working Group, telling reporters, “Simply put, the federal government needs new tools to assess where inequities exist, because so often policies appear neutral on their face, but deliver services and benefits inequitably.”

This person added: “In many instances we are not sufficiently parsing the data so that we’re able to determine who is actually benefiting from what or who is not benefiting from what.”

Immediate priorities from today’s executive actions, which the administration described as, “substantially an economic agenda,” include, “ending health disparities, education, job creation, raising incomes, and criminal justice reform.”

While previous administrations have had “an interest in advancing justice and equity,” the official acknowledged, “never before has there been this whole of government approach, where every part of the White House, every agency in all of its work, not in a silo, not in a, you know, an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion but throughout everything they do, are mandated to consider and advance equity and be held accountable for it,” pointing to overlap with Covid-relief policy, economic policy and environmental policy.

And administration official called the “tone and the orientation” of the previous administration with respect to Asian and Pacific Islanders “quite offensive and dangerous.”

“The particular xenophobia propagated by the previous administration against Asian Americans must be acknowledged and addressed,” the official told reporters Tuesday, “And that’s why today, President Biden will establish that it is the policy of his administration to condemn and denounce anti-Asian bias and discrimination. He’ll also task the Department of Health and Human Services, with providing, with producing best practices to eliminate anti-Asian bias in the federal government’s Covid-19 response and directs the Department of Justice to partner with Asian American and Pacific Island communities to prevent bullying, harassment, and hate crimes.” 

On ending contracts with private prisons, the administration dismissed cost implications, telling reporters, “That was not the motivating factor, the motivating factor, however, was the fact that private prisons are not only encouraged profiteering off of human lives but more importantly, I’ve been shown by the Department of Justice inspector general’s report to be subpar in terms of safety and security for those incarcerated.”

On housing, the official pointed to the role the federal government has played across housing discrimination, indicating the administration’s focus on housing reform, addressing everything “from redlining to mortgage discrimination, to destructive federal highway construction.”

Finally, asked on the role the Vice President Kamala Harris will play, the official told reporters, “Vice President Harris and her team have been very much involved in the work of equity and racial justice as you would imagine, and her team has been fully a partner in our efforts to formulate both the policies, and the steps that will be taken to implement them.”

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Instant Pot Aura sale: Save on the multicooker

(CNN) —  

Can’t get enough of the Instant Pot? Consider adding yet another device from the cult-favorite cooking brand to your kitchen arsenal: It’s the Instant Pot Aura, a multiuse programmable slow cooker, and it’s down to just $69.99 — the lowest price we’ve seen in months.

  • Instant Pot Aura 9-in-1 Multicooker ($69.99, originally $129.99; amazon.com)

Instant Pot Aura

PHOTO:
Amazon

Like the traditional Instant Pot Duo or Lux you’re likely well acquainted with, the Aura can perform a multitude of functions, including roast, stew, bake, steam, slow cook, sear, sauté, cook rice, make yogurt and warm. Unlike the classic Instant Pot, the Aura is not a pressure cooker, so it won’t reach the higher-than-boiling temperatures that pressure cookers are famous for.

The Aura is the perfect appliance for home chefs who cook for a lot of people. The 6-quart oval pot and clear lid is ideal for cooking larger dishes that can’t fit in a pressure-cooking Instant Pot (it can hold a whole medium-size whole chicken or roast), and it’s just as easy to operate as any other Instant Pot, since you can cook an entire meal with just the push of a button.

There’s no telling how long this sale price will last, so pick up your new pot before time runs out. For more great deals, check out CNN Coupons.

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Gifts for couples working from home

(CNN) —  

Working from home certainly has its perks (sweatpants all day every day being one of them), but working from home with your significant other can sometimes prove to be a bit challenging. This Valentine’s Day, make the most of sharing a workspace with your partner by gifting them something that will help make their workday easier and more enjoyable.

Whether you share a home office or work together from the comfort of your couch, these 22 gift ideas are sure to show your Valentine just how much you love them while also helping to boost their productivity and comfort. Want more ideas? Check out our favorite heartfelt gifts; our gifts for him, her and kids; and our V-Day flower delivery guide.

PurpleTreeDesignsUK Valentine’s Day Card

PHOTO:
Etsy

A quirky Valentine’s Day card for the S.O. who travels to and from the fridge just as much as you do during the workday.

Legiral Portable Body Muscle Massager

Legiral Portable Body Muscle Massager

PHOTO:
Amazon

Give the gift of an at-home massage with this portable muscle massager. Relieve tension, soreness and knots that occur after a long day’s work with six interchangeable heads and 20 adjustable speeds.

Diptyque Baies Candle

Diptyque Baies Candle

PHOTO:
Nordstrom

Keep your shared workspace smelling fresh with a beautiful candle, like this luxe candle from Diptyque with notes of berry, rose and black currant. For more candle ideas, check out our favorite candles for this winter.

Hanes EcoSmart Fleece Sweatpant

Hanes EcoSmart Fleece Sweatpant

PHOTO:
Amazon

Comfort is key when working from home, and these ultra-cozy fleece sweatpants are sure to become a go-to for your valentine.

De

De’Longhi 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

PHOTO:
Amazon

Start your morning off by sharing a delicious latte or cappuccino together, courtesy of this nifty double brewing espresso machine.

Ember Mug 2 Temperature Control Smart Mug

Ember Mug 2 Temperature Control Smart Mug

PHOTO:
Target

Speaking of delicious coffee, this temperature-controlled smart mug from Ember will keep your valentine’s morning brew perfectly warm for hours on end.

Hatch Restore Sound and Smart Light Machine

Hatch Restore Sound and Smart Light Machine

PHOTO:
Amazon

A good night’s sleep is key to a productive workday, and this Hatch Restore sound and smart light machine will help you and your partner sleep more soundly at night, thanks to its customizable sounds, light and alarm routine.

‘Office Life: A Snarky Coloring Book for Adults’ by Papeterie Bleu

PHOTO:
Amazon

Relax and alleviate the stress of working from home and all that it encompasses with a humorous office-themed adult coloring book that you can work on together.

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Unisex Robe

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Unisex Robe

PHOTO:
Nordstrom

One major requirement for WFH? A plush robe — and this Barefoot Dreams style is the ultimate gift. Just don’t blame us if you catch your partner wearing it for Zoom meetings (it’s seriously that soft).

Pure Daily Care Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser & Essential Oil Set

Pure Daily Care Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser & Essential Oil Set

PHOTO:
Amazon

This top-rated diffuser will fill their workspace with their favorite essential oils. Plus, its sleek design adds interest to any room.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Over-Ear Wireless Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM4 Over-Ear Wireless Headphones

PHOTO:
Amazon

Noise-canceling headphones are a necessity for boosting productivity (especially when working from home with your significant other), and there’s literally no better pair than these from Sony, which topped our list of the best noise-canceling headphones of 2021.

Toes Home Plush Slipper Socks, 6-Pack

Toes Home Plush Slipper Socks, 6-Pack

PHOTO:
Amazon

Because fuzzy socks are always a great gift.

Vipek Double Workstation Home Office Desk

Vipek Double Workstation Home Office Desk

PHOTO:
Amazon

Working from home together has never looked so chic, thanks to this double workstation office desk that’s complete with a waterproof, scratch-resistant and extra-long desktop as well as numerous shelves.

Neliblu Heart Stress Balls

Neliblu Heart Stress Balls

PHOTO:
Amazon

Work can be tough, so give your work-from-home partner a cute Valentine’s Day-themed heart-shaped stress ball to help relieve their stress and anxiety throughout the day.

Russel + Hazel Acrylic Wall Calendar Desk Set

Russel + Hazel Acrylic Wall Calendar Desk Set

PHOTO:
Anthropologie

Help your S.O. stay organized with this modern acrylic wall calendar desk set that’s just as stylish as it is functional.

Elvira 32-Ounce Large Water Bottle With Motivational Time Marker

Elvira 32-Ounce Large Water Bottle With Motivational Time Marker

PHOTO:
Amazon

A water bottle with hourly time markers is the best way to make sure they stay hydrated throughout the workday.

Vogek Wireless Charging Station

Vogek Wireless Charging Station

PHOTO:
Amazon

You and your valentine can keep all of your gadgets charged and organized, thanks to this wireless charging station that’s complete with eight USB ports that can fit your phone, Apple Airpods, tablets and more.

Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Nonstick Belgian Waffle Maker

Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Nonstick Belgian Waffle Maker

PHOTO:
Amazon

Nothing says “I love you” better than homemade waffles. Whip up a batch for you to share with this easy-to-use double compartment waffle maker.

Bearaby Cotton Napper

Bearaby Cotton Napper

PHOTO:
Bearaby

Snuggle up together after a long workday with this editor-favorite, luxuriously soft weighted blanket from Bearaby that’s made from long-staple cotton that’s been braided to offer a truly cool lounging experience.

Circadian Optics Light Therapy Lamp

Circadian Optics Light Therapy Lamp

PHOTO:
Amazon

Boost your loved one’s mood with this top-rated light therapy lamp that helps fight work fatigue, winter blues and more when they need a little pick-me-up. It was our runner-up for the best SAD lamps of 2021.

Eminta Dual-Sided Desk Pad Office Desk Mat

Eminta Dual-Sided Desk Pad Office Desk Mat

PHOTO:
Amazon

This faux leather nonslip desk pad is waterproof, sleek and perfect for keeping their office space tidy, clean and stylish.

UltraIdeas Cozy Memory Foam Slippers

UltraIdeas Cozy Memory Foam Slippers

PHOTO:
Amazon

Fluffy, soft, warm and ultra cushioned — what’s not to love about these memory foam slippers? They’re available in men’s sizes as well.

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Valentine’s Day Gifts for Kids 2021

(CNN) —  

The wonderful thing about Valentine’s Day is seeing kids get so excited over marvelously sappy little gifts. And if there was ever a February that needed an extra infusion of lighthearted fun, it’s this one.

By celebrating love in all its forms on February 14, you’re telling your kids that romance isn’t the be-all and end-all. A valuable lesson, no? So here are 24 ideas to remind them that your love is, and always will be, the real deal. Whether your heart belongs to a toddler, tween or teen, we’ve got hearts day sorted for you. Want more ideas? Check out our favorite heartfelt gifts, gifts for him, gifts for her and our guide to flower delivery too.

Lego Bricks & More Cupid Dog

PHOTO:
Amazon

Even kids who aren’t into Lego (are there any?) will be drawn to this irresistible canine cherub. With 150 pieces, this set is a challenge, yet comes together quick enough that young children won’t lose interest.

Rainbow Unicorn Tea Set

Rainbow Unicorn Tea Set

PHOTO:
Pottery Barn

Sure to be an heirloom, this magical metal tea set has everything they’ll need to be the happy host. All the pieces can be stashed in the little suitcase and toted off to tea parties in the park, yard or on the porch.

Gund Be My Boo

Gund Be My Boo

PHOTO:
Amazon

Don’t know Boo, the well-coiffed, petite Pomeranian with 17 million social fans? That’s ok; kids do. Yours will swoon over a life-size plush Boo (sporting angel wings!) swooping in to show your love on V-day.

Cat & Jack Pizza Hearts Graphic Tee

Cat & Jack Pizza Hearts Graphic Tee

PHOTO:
Target

Here’s the perfect cool-yet-practical present. It’s seasonal without screaming Valentine’s Day, so they’ll wear it for months to come. And at this price, you can outfit as many kids as you’d like.

ALilBitOfCute Kawaii PB&J Heart Necklace Set

ALilBitOfCute Kawaii PB&J Heart Necklace Set

PHOTO:
Etsy

Are these not the cutest things for two sisters or besties? Handmade of polymer clay, each necklace has a teeny pewter knife or spoon charm with a smidge of ‘peanut butter’ or ‘jelly’ on it. You can pick a silver plated, gold plated or stainless steel chain.

Glowing Bath Time Buddy

Glowing Bath Time Buddy

PHOTO:
Uncommon Goods

Pop one of the two included glowing cubes into a Buddy, and pleading with your kid to get into the tub is officially a thing of the past. Submersible Buddies glow, float and with bendable limbs, can chill on the soap dish or climb the shower curtain. Light cubes go out when dry and each lasts 72 hours.

Godiva Bear with Chocolate Hearts

Godiva Bear with Chocolate Hearts

PHOTO:
Godiva

For a classically sweet gift, may we suggest this limited edition teddy clutching a scarlet sack of milk and dark chocolate hearts? Introduce them to the good stuff early, we say.

Rowan Fierce Love Sterling Studs

Rowan Fierce Love Sterling Studs

PHOTO:
Rowan

Bring on the bling for your best girl. With cubic zirconia lightning bolts and a tiny berry, these dainty earrings are hypo-allergenic and nickel-free. Also available in gold vermeil.

Cubcoats Sao the Sloth

Cubcoats Sao the Sloth

PHOTO:
Nordstrom

If your preschooler insists on bringing a stuffie everywhere, check out this clever idea. It starts out as a friendly tree sloth (lots of other animals can be had, from dinosaurs to dogs), and morphs into a plush hoodie when it gets chilly on the playground. It’s machine-washable and has a soft silicon zipper too.

Cat & Jack Baby Love-a-Saurus Set

Cat & Jack Baby Love-a-Saurus Set

PHOTO:
Target

Comfy and cozy, this is an Insta-worthy outfit for your cutie patootie’s first Valentine’s Day. Notice the spikes on the dino are hearts! Grandma will melt into a puddle when she sees them in this.

Calico Critters Cute Couple Set

Calico Critters Cute Couple Set

PHOTO:
Amazon

Stella Rabbit and her “new boyfriend, William Cinnamon Rabbit” (stop it!) can hold hands as they step out in their date night finery. The besotted bunnies come with roses and a bouquet holder tied with a bow. These two are adorable on their own, or they fit right into any of the Calico Critters playsets.

WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Song Cube

WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Song Cube

PHOTO:
Amazon

Baby Shark hysteria never fades, does it? That’s just fine, though, since hearing “Baby Shark” makes your tyke so darn happy. Momma Shark here plays that cheery ear worm when pressed. Watching your 2-year-old dance to it? Priceless.

Jellycat Cosmopop Rocket Plush

Jellycat Cosmopop Rocket Plush

PHOTO:
Nordstrom

The smiliest spaceship in the galaxy is sure to get your sweet kid grinning too. The squishy fellow, standing tall on metallic boosters, is ready to take off on any mission, no matter how daring. Say, providing moral support during yet another morning of virtual kindergarten.

Capsul Heart Block Brass Bracelet

Capsul Heart Block Brass Bracelet

PHOTO:
Capsul

You can never go wrong with a shiny bauble for a tween. This thin rope bracelet with a lobster clasp is available in a gold, silver or rose gold finish, or with an initial or a Swarovski pavé heart block. No matter how you design it, though, they’ll never outgrow the stunningly simple finished piece.

You

You’re a Llama Fun Valentine’s Day Cookie Card

PHOTO:
Cheryls

A llama adorning a Valentine’s greeting may seem random, but the furry creatures are a thing lately with kids. Inside the gift box (which doubles as a card) is an individually wrapped Cheryl’s cookie thick with buttercream.

Create Your Own Reel Viewer

Create Your Own Reel Viewer

PHOTO:
Uncommon Goods

A bright red retro toy reimagined is just the thing to surprise your curious kid on Valentine’s Day. Turn seven shots that will take your kid to his happy place into a custom reel to go with the viewer. More reels can be ordered separately for $14.95 each.

Sparkl Creations Reversible Magic Sequins Notebook

Sparkl Creations Reversible Magic Sequins Notebook

PHOTO:
Amazon

They’re irresistible: Sequins that flip and change the pattern when you run your hand over them. This notebook is not only addictive, but useful. With lined pages, an attached cloth bookmark and a pen holder, it will serve your kid well for school or at-home journaling.

Ourlife Camera and Video Recorder

Ourlife Camera and Video Recorder

PHOTO:
Amazon

Don’t be fooled by the pink hearts motif nor the affordable price. This video camera takes high quality footage. It comes with a 8GB memory card and an attachment to mount it to bikes and helmets. It’s also realistically designed: It has a waterproof case lest those bike rides get a little too adventurous.

L.O.L Surprise! Lights Pet

L.O.L Surprise! Lights Pet

PHOTO:
Target

The reign of surprise toys is still going strong, and this is arguably the cleverest example. Each pet is covered in fur, like Cousin Itt! Kids peel off the fur a bit at a time to discover which critter they’ve been gifted. When finally defuzzed, the pet will be left rocking a signature hairdo. It comes with a black light to reveal the pet’s unique glow.

Dear Valentine Letters Mad Libs

Dear Valentine Letters Mad Libs

PHOTO:
Amazon

Mad Libs never fail to make kids laugh. This time, they’ll rewrite syrupy love letters into hysterical notes. The book has silly stickers for the finishing touch on each greeting, left where the recipient is sure to find it. Think bathroom mirror, pillow, next to the remote or even in the fridge.

Step2 Unicorn Rocking Horse

Step2 Unicorn Rocking Horse

PHOTO:
Walmart

Whee! Set their little heart aflutter by trotting out this mythical ride. The soft, pastel mane, gold horn and clippity-clop sound effects work together to make magic. The sturdy base will make their journey to the land of make believe as secure as it is thrilling.

FromJennifer Bow and Arrows

FromJennifer Bow and Arrows

PHOTO:
Etsy

Calling all Cupids. This handmade bow and arrows is easy and safe to play with. Each arrow is tipped with a colorful wool ball (you pick the colors) and painted with stripes to match. The bow is crafted in a way that guides the arrow, encouraging eager archers.

Melissa & Doug Created by Me! Heart Magnets

Melissa & Doug Created by Me! Heart Magnets

PHOTO:
Amazon

If you’re looking for a festive but simple craft, pick up this can’t-miss kit. Kids can festoon wooden heart magnets with paint and glimmery stickers. The finished products can be shared with friends, or proudly displayed on the fridge.

DecoraArt Cheerful Clouds Umbrella

DecoraArt Cheerful Clouds Umbrella

PHOTO:
Etsy

Keep them looking toward brighter days ahead by bestowing this unbearably sweet bumbershoot. It has a wooden handle and tip, along with a safety mechanism that’s little-finger friendly. Take a close look…the raindrops are hearts. Sold!

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Flexispot desk riser sale | CNN Underscored

(CNN) —  

If you’re in the market for an upgrade to your work-from-home setup — and don’t have space/budget enough for a full-on standing desk — there’s no better option than the Flexispot Desk Riser, our pick for the best standing desk converter. And right now, you can nab the 36-inch model for more than $30 off its usual price with the exclusive code CNN10SAVE.

With a standard converter design, this Flexispot riser is pretty much ready to be used right out of the box. Assembly only requires attaching the keyboard tray to the desktop, no tools needed. It takes a little maneuvering to align around the preinstalled screws, but within a few minutes we had it ready to roll. At just under 37 pounds, it’s lightweight enough to be moved if need be, but we were also impressed by the solid construction, experiencing minimal, if any, wobble while in use. It also arrived with cable ties to help with cord management.

Both its desktop and keyboard tray provide ample space, and it adjusts with the push of a lever.

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Best online sales right now

(CNN) —  

Today, you’ll find a deal on Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case, discounted Anker charging accessories and savings at Levi’s Warehouse Event. All that and more below.

Sick of sweats? Right now, you can save on some real pants from Levi’s, the original denim purveyor. The iconic brand is taking up to 75% off during its Warehouse Event, plus free standard shipping, so there’s never been a better time to stock up on jeans and other apparel. You’ll need to enter your email address to score these solid sale prices on items for men, women and kids, some of which are under $10. Just note: All sales are final, so you’ll want to be sure of your picks before your purchase.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Over the Ear Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Over the Ear Headphones

PHOTO:
Amazon

It’s safe to say the Sony WH-1000XM4s are some of our favorite headphones, as they were our pick for best over-ear and best noise-canceling cans. Right now, you can get the best headphones on the market back at their all-time low price of $278. They boast industry-leading sound quality and stellar noise cancellation, and they have a 30-hour battery life so you can jam all day long.

Anker

Anker is a name you should know when it comes to affordable charging accessories, and for one day only at Amazon, a slew of them are significantly marked down. Pick up a new portable charger, power bank, charging stand, cables and more, all for under $40.

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case

PHOTO:
Apple

Apple’s AirPods with Wireless Charging Case are down to a new low price at Walmart: They’re currently just $129.98, the previous low for the wired charging case model. These are the second-generation AirPods that debuted in 2019, and they come with a powerful H1 chip, improved battery life and wireless charging capabilities. Not only does the included case charge the AirPods for use when they’re not in your ears, but you can also charge the case itself via wireless charging pad.

Macy

It’s time to save on thousands of home items at Macy’s. The department store is taking up to 60% off everything from furniture to mattresses and rugs, plus an additional 10% off select items with code HOME at the The Big Home Sale. You’ll find discounts on some of your favorite home brands like Serta, Sealy, Beautyrest and much more — just be sure to shop soon.

AirPods Pro ($199.98, originally $249; amazon.com)

AirPods Pro

Our — and really, everyone’s — favorite true wireless earbuds are down to the lowest price we’ve seen in weeks on Amazon. Right now, you can score your very own pair of AirPods Pro — complete with wireless charging case, active noise cancellation, transparency mode, adaptive EQ and all the other features you know and love — for just $199.99. Just be sure to shop before they sell out or the price goes back up.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 ($42.39, originally $59.99; amazon.com)

Anker Soundcore Life Q20

Anker Soundcore Life Q20

PHOTO:
Anker

If proper headphones are more your speed, consider picking up a pair of our favorite budget noise-canceling cans. The Anker Soundcore Life Q20 headphones are even cheaper than usual at just $42.39, and they deliver on comfort and sound quality in addition to noise cancellation.

Baggu

Baggu

Baggu is a brand that’s beloved for not only its packable, nylon ripstop bag, but also its sturdy yet stylish collections of purses, backpacks, totes and more. And now for a limited time you can save up to 60% on rare and discontinued styles from the brand. The Warehouse Sale is your last chance to score these final sale items; once they’re sold out, they’re gone for good, and many bags have already disappeared.

Eufy BoostIQ Robo Vac 11S Max ($169.99, originally $249.99; amazon.com)

Eufy BoostIQ Robo Vac 11S Max

Eufy BoostIQ Robo Vac 11S Max

PHOTO:
Anker

Leave vacuuming to this discounted robo vac from Eufy. At just $169.99, down from $249.99, the popular 11S Max uses 2000Pa of suction power to ensure more debris is picked up across all surfaces and anti-collision sensors to avoid bumping into objects. Plus, it’s thin enough to slide effortlessly underneath more furniture, and relatively quiet too.

Instant Pot Aura ($69.99, originally $129.95; amazon.com)

Instant Pot Aura

Instant Pot Aura

PHOTO:
Sur La Table

Can’t get enough of the Instant Pot? Consider adding yet another device from the cult-favorite cooking brand to your kitchen arsenal: It’s the Instant Pot Aura, a multiuse programmable slow cooker, and it’s down to just $69.99 right now. Like the traditional Instant Pot Duo or Lux you’re likely well acquainted with, the Aura can perform a multitude of functions, including roast, stew, bake, steam, slow cook, sear, sauté, cook rice, make yogurt and warm. Unlike the classic Instant Pot, the Aura is not a pressure cooker, so it won’t reach the higher-than-boiling temperatures that pressure cookers are famous for. But for those looking to whip up large-batch soups and stews this winter, it’s the appliance for you.

1-800-Flowers

1-800-Flowers

1-800-Flowers

PHOTO:
1-800-Flowers

You can’t go wrong with giving that special someone a nice bouquet for Valentine’s Day, and 1-800-Flowers has you covered. Right now you can save 40% on a selection of flower-and-gift bundles, and check that present off your to-do list — no promo code necessary. And you won’t just be saving on flowers; there are also plenty of deals on sweet treats and self-care items for that special someone.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond

PHOTO:
Bed Bath & Beyond

Refresh your bedroom and bathroom for the new year with new, on-sale bedding and bath linens. Bed Bath & Beyond is offering up to 50% off bed and bath items. Many of the mega home retailer’s sheets, pillows, blankets, comforters, mattress toppers, towels, bath rugs and more are included in the sale There are plenty of highly rated towel sets up for grabs, including several monogrammed options, in addition to a variety of basic sheet sets, cozy throws, down-filled comforters and even ever-popular weighted blankets. Quite a few of the sets come in a range of colors, so you’re sure to find a hue that works well in your home.

For more great deals, check out CNN Coupons.

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Racial inequality: Biden aims to tackle another American crisis

Just 20 days on from one of the most shocking moments in modern US history, Biden on Tuesday will make his most detailed policy moves yet on the issue with a series of executive orders on the one crisis haunting his presidency sure to endure once Covid-19 and its economic pain are just a horrible memory.

He will press ahead in the looming shadow of his predecessor Donald Trump after House Democrats on Monday delivered an article of impeachment relating to his role inciting the Capitol riot.

The uprising, incited by an ex-President who fueled white nationalism, underscored how America’s oldest fault line is also one of its freshest following last summer’s national racial reckoning.

Yet subsequent events have also left a sense that while the country has rarely been more divided since a Civil War that was fought over slavery, progress is possible and as necessary as ever.

In another striking image, on Monday, for example, the first Black, South Asian and female Vice President Kamala Harris swore in the first Black Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The two juxtaposed episodes less than three weeks apart encapsulated the nation’s deep divides that Biden must confront but also a democracy’s potential for change.
The President has picked the most diverse Cabinet in US history. He has instructed his nominees at the Justice Department to prioritize civil rights and to root out racism and prejudice to apply equality under the law for all Americans. This is no doubt heartfelt. But it is also smart political positioning since he owes his victory in the Democratic nominating race, his triumph over Trump and his party’s capture of the Senate to Black voters especially.

‘A moving moment’

Biden has worked hard to meet the moment, after several clumsy or discordant remarks related to race earlier in his long political career.

During a visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the election campaign, Biden argued that the nationwide tide of emotion that followed yet another shooting of a Black man by police, that paralyzed Jacob Blake, was the catalyst for a new effort to tackle all forms of racism and inequality of opportunity.

He also signaled understanding of the spirit of the resurgent racial justice movement by acknowledging that White Americans could never fully appreciate the historic pain felt by their Black compatriots, an experience shared by many other citizens.

“I can’t understand what it’s like to walk out the door or send my son out the door or my daughter and worry about just because they’re Black they may not come back,” Biden said.

Soaring words and symbolism are important — they are part of a President’s armory in mobilizing the public and affecting political change. But alone, they cannot transform a country or the lived reality of African Americans. The limited social mobility of millions and the busted promises of many previous “conversations about race” sometimes seem little changed from the reality noted by Martin Luther King Jr. in his book “Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community” that was first published in 1967.

“Loose and easy language about equality, resonant resolutions about brotherhood fall pleasantly on the ear, but for the Negro there is a credibility gap he cannot overlook,” King wrote.

In a more recent lesson, the presidency of the first black commander in chief Barack Obama shows that the very act of breaking down barriers that at the time can seem epochal and irreversible can incite new prejudice and breed extremism.

What Biden plans to do

Biden’s effort will require action from the Justice Department to tackle civil rights abuses and to guarantee fairness in the judicial system for all. Former national security adviser Susan Rice has a new White House job, leading the Domestic Policy Council, which includes racial equity among its sweeping menu of responsibilities.

Biden on Tuesday will sign executive actions establishing a commission on policing, partly in response to the death of Minnesota man George Floyd with a policeman’s knee on his neck last year.

He is also expected to order improvements in prison conditions and to mandate the Department of Housing and Urban Development to promote equitable housing policies.

Last week, in the first hours of his presidency, Biden signed an executive order requiring all government departments to put racial and other forms of equality at the center of everything that they do during his term.

One established that “advancing equity for all — including people of color and others who have been historically underserved and marginalized — is the responsibility of the whole of our government.” Biden also countermanded an earlier executive order signed by Trump.

Like much of Biden’s presidency, his capacity for action, and to secure the massive funding that serious reform requires, will be constrained by narrow majorities in Congress and Washington’s fractured political scene in the post-Trump era. But he does have the moral authority of having won office against a President who tore at the nation’s racial chasm with a hard line “law and order” campaign based on false claims that the Democratic nominee wanted to dismantle policing as it is currently known.

Biden in the middle

Like many other issues, the debate over what Biden has said is “systemic” racism in the criminal justice system puts the President between two absolutist positions. He finds himself confronted on his right by conservatives keen to demagogue him as anti-police and an enemy of White heartland values.

Conservative media has already accused Biden of wrongly equating every Trump voter with White nationalists and racists. And many Republicans are now seeking to draw false equivalence between the Trump-inspired violence on January 6 in Washington and clashes that broke out during Black Lives Matter protests last year. Biden has condemned violence in all cases. And violence that erupted in the summer in many cities was not the true expression of the attitude of millions of people who marched to protest racial injustice. The attack on the Capitol represented an unprecedented assault on another branch of government by a US President trying to steal an election.

To his left, Biden is confronted by progressives who want sweeping reform — some of whom defined the term “defund the police” that many party leaders say helped cost Democrats victories in some key swing state races in the House.

This particular issue also pulls Biden between two versions of his own political persona. He was severely criticized for his role in 1990s criminal justice legislation that ushered in mandatory minimum sentences that sent many young Black men to jail for years. But he has also always had a strong relationship with the police and their unions during his long political career.

But the shocking events of last summer and the long litany of videotaped examples of police brutality against African Americans have irrevocably shifted the potency of race and policing in the Democratic Party. And Biden’s positioning, though obviously sincere, is also enforced by political reality.

Still, some of Biden’s longtime contacts in policing have told CNN that his experience and familiarity with both sides of this most difficult issue may uniquely equip him to oversee a policy response that goes some way to reconciling the extraordinary, and multi-racial national protests after Floyd’s death.